Trump Claims 75-Year-Old Man Shoved By Police Could Be Part Of ‘Set Up’
President Donald Trump pushed a conspiracy theory on Twitter Tuesday morning, suggesting that the 75-year-old man pushed to the ground by Buffalo police officers during a protest was part of a “set up.”
The Hill reported that Trump cited the right-wing One America News Network (OANN) in claiming that Martin Gugino might have been associated with “Antifa” and potentially staged the fall.
The president tweeted: “Buffalo protester shoved by Police could be an ANTIFA provocateur. 75 year old Martin Gugino was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment. @OANN I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?”
Two Buffalo police officers, Aaron Torgalski and Robert McCabe, were charged with assault as a result of the incident, The Hill reported.
Video of the encounter showed them shoving Gugino when he approached them, after which the elderly man fell to the sidewalk and hit his head.
The police walked by as Gugino lay on the ground with blood pooling around his head.
Gugino is still hospitalized, according to the report, and both officers have pleaded not guilty.
The Hill noted that Trump’s overall response to protests against police brutality and the death of George Floyd in police custody has been one of “law and order,” largely siding with law enforcement and “and urging state leaders to ‘dominate’ their streets against demonstrators.”
Both the president and “other administration officials have blamed antifa, loosely organized groups of far-left activists, for the unrest, even as the gatherings have been largely peaceful,” The Hill reported.